I bought my mother a Peek email device. She's not very interested in technology or email, but my sister and I thought it would be nice to get her connected this way, since, with her hearing loss, it's hard for her to use the phone.
The goal of the Peek is simplicity.
Features It only does email, to keep it simple. It doesn't do web or make or receive phone calls, even though it uses a cellular network.
User interface It has a click-wheel on the side, like previous generation Blackberrys. There are very few menu choices, though I think a Palm-OS touch screen and user interface would have been nicer.
Cost I paid $50 at target.com. List price is $80. Service is $20/month, which I'm paying as a gift. No contracts, no commitments. I can cancel any time.
Setup Super easy, though I did it for her. You tell it your email address. It has to be with a major email provider, because they know all the required settings for the major providers. You have to do a confirmation, log into the web on a real computer, give your credit card information. I believe it will be easy for a relatively non-technological user.
The computer at my mother's home is set up in an uncomfortable position for her. Plus I thought a small device she can keep in her bag would be handy.
She says she's reading her mail every day, though she hasn't replied yet. My sister and I are hopefull that she eventually start replying. Later, she may start composing her own new emails. In the meantime, we're trying to send her interesting daily gossip to develop an incentive to keep reading her mail.